With the official start of spring coming on March 21, you might be dreaming of warmer days and fresher food and of sticking to that resolution you made back in January to eat more sustainably.
One way to do this is to become a CSA member (Community Supported Agriculture), an increasingly popular way to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer. With a CSA you buy “shares” from a farmer that you pay for up front to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation. In return, you get a box of fresh vegetables that is usually delivered each week.
Depending on the area you live in, and where the farm is, i.e. urban vs. rural, you can either pick up the box at the farm, or a certain pick-up location, which is delivered to on specific days and times.
CSAs have evolved and many farmers now offer more options than just a pre-filled box. This includes bringing a variety of what’s in season so that their members can choose their own favorites and letting them fill their own box. Or, they partner with another farmer or farmers to offer items that they don’t produce. Some are also bringing their CSA boxes to local farmers’ markets to make it even easier for their members to pick them up and get exactly what they want.
And, other items are now being offered through CSAs including meat, eggs, cheese, flowers, fruit and even homemade preserves or baked goods.